It takes a special effort to win a world marathon major and, in recent times, only some really mind-blowing finishing times have done the job.
Over the last six years, one man has dominated the circuit – winning in every major course he’s competed in since finishing as runner up in the 2013 edition of the Berlin Marathon, which was won at a world record time at the time.
Eliud Kipchoge smashes the marathon world record
That man is Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who became the fourth consecutive athlete from his country to break the world marathon record, when he shattered it in Berlin in 2018.
The 34-year-old followed in the footsteps of countrymen such as Paul Tergat, Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto – improving on the latter’s time by 78 seconds.
Kipchoge finished just sshort of dipping below the two-hour mark, recording an incredible time of 2:01:39, the fastest over 42km.
Kenya dominate the international marathon circuit
The East African country has been a dominant force in long-distance running for decades, as no less than five Kenyans have – at some point in the last 30 years – held the world marathon record.
The great Paul Tergat smashed the record in Berlin back in 2003 and, since then, Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie has been the only non-Kenyan to record the fastest time.
From 2011, the record has exchanged hands between Kenyans, with Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, Dennis Kimetto, and of course, Eliud Kipchoge smashing the mark.
Fastest marathon times
2:01:39 – Eliud Kipchoge (Berlin Marathon, 2018)
2:02:57 – Dennis Kimetto (Berlin Marathon, 2014)
2:03:03 – Kenenisa Bekele (Berlin Marathon, 2016)
2:03:05 – Eliud Kipchoge (London Marathon, 2016)
2:03:13 – Emmanuel Mutai (Berlin Marathon, 2014)
2:03:13 – Wilson Kipsang (Berlin Marathon, 2014)
2:03:23 – Wilson Kipsang (Berlin Marathon, 2013)
2:03:32 – Eliud Kipchoge (Berlin Marathon, 2017)
2:03:34 -Getane Molla (Dubai, 2019)
2:03:38 – Patrick Makau (Berlin, 2011)